Gaming has gone to the dogs

But in a completely awesome way. I did pick up Okami this week, and unfortunately have only had a few scant hours to really play around with it, but it's easily one of the PS2's best titles in it's distinguished history. The creative use of nearly psychedelic colors and the look of old Japanese brush-style art rival anything seen on the flashy next-gen scene. The combat is a somewhat simple affair, with just one basic attack button, but as you learn new defensive techniques & powers for your "celestial brush", your combat options become ever more complex (my personal favorite so far is making trees form out of nowhere, it's a fun way to finish off enemies). It's a near perfect title, really my only complaint is that the characters all speak in a really annoying mumble, and many talk at length, which gets in the way of mostly creative and funny dialogue. And I reiterate my point that this would be an even more spectacular title on the Wii, so hopefully a port is at least being considered.

Part of the reason I got Okami was a desperate need to rid myself of the bane that is Lego Star Wars II for the DS. It's a slight change from my sort of recommendation last week, since I was unaware of the bugs that plague this particular version. I thought some fans & reviewers had simply gotten bad copies, as the first several levels I played were fine, but sure enough, a few levels later, they really made their presence known, as various levels were simply not even finishable. This is one of the shoddiest ports I've played in years, and I hope Amaze Entertainment gets tarred & feathered for it, it's completely inexcusable.

So, the Tokyo Game Show is going on at this moment, and some very interesting stuff is coming out from Sony's side. First, they dropped the price of their $500 PS3 to $430. That only applies to Japan, but that may hint at what may happen here as well. Furthermore, rumors about multiple tiers of pricing have been surfacing, but that may mean REALLY expensive games in order to offset the lower sale price of the system
(like in the $70-85 range). In my opinion, this move is far more suicidal than having a high-priced console. I mean, really, who's going to pay $10-25 more than you would for a game on any of the competition? Again, so far, this is all rumors and innuendo that so far only applies in Japan, but TGS is usually a precursor to here as it's the last really big show before the holiday season.

The DS avalanche of slick titles continues this week, as Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis is out, and it promises some very fun & creative gameplay, assuming you have any money or time left for it, and there are at least 4 other titles coming out for the system in the next few weeks that look extremely promising (namely Children of Mana & FFCC: Ring of Fates
). This is starting to really make the DS look like the most versatile system out right now.

Unfortunately, work wore me out a little too much this weekend to really check out any movies, but I fully plan of seeing Fearless in the next couple of days, and I'll give my impressions in my next post.


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